Category: Musculoskeletal Disorders

Psychosocial Hazards Often Overlooked in Construction Industry

Why Do Psychosocial Factors of Work Matter? The construction industry has considerable safety and health hazards that result in high rates of injury, illness, and fatality. Common hazards include noise, fall, electrical, and chemical hazards. Approximately 60% of all construction fatalities each year can be attributed to the ‘focus four’ hazards of falls, struck-by, caught Read More >

Posted on by Aurora B. Le, PhD, MPH, CSP, CPH; Doug Trout, MD, MHS; Ann Marie Dale, PhD; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP2 Comments

National Safety Month

Each June, we celebrate National Safety Month. While we all know safety is important year-round, this month we work to highlight efforts to prevent injury and death, from the workplace to anyplace. In this blog, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Safety Council (NSC) are highlighting research and prevention Read More >

Posted on by Dawn Castillo, MPH, and John Dony2 Comments

Newly Archived Webinar Recordings Highlighting How Emerging Technologies Can Prevent Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders

  NIOSH recently posted seven webinars to YouTube highlighting the use of emerging technologies to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). Although the webinars are from 2018-2021, the content is still informative and relevant and receiving praise from those in the industry. The series of webinars focuses on using emerging technologies as interventions or for conducting Read More >

Posted on by Jack Lu, Jessica Ramsey, Brent Baker, and Menekse Barim1 Comment

Exoskeletons: Potential for Preventing Work-related Musculoskeletal Injuries and Disorders in Construction Workplaces

Construction workers are at high risk for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). One potential tool to prevent WMSDs is the use of exoskeletons, which are assistive devices that can be suitable for construction and other industrial work (see related NIOSH pages on robotics and the Center for Occupational Robotics Research). Exoskeletons can be categorized as passive Read More >

Posted on by Sang D. Choi, PhD, MPH(c), MS, CSP, CPE; Douglas Trout, MD, MHS; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; and CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH1 Comment

Musculoskeletal Disorders Research at NIOSH

Throughout its 50 years, NIOSH has been at the forefront of efforts to protect workers from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).  MSDs were recognized as having occupational causes as early as the beginning of the 18th century. However, it was not until the 1970’s that occupational factors were examined using epidemiologic methods, and the work-relatedness of these Read More >

Posted on by Jack Lu, PhD, CPE, and Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MALeave a comment

Digital Version of the Impactful Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation Applications Manual Now Available

The NIOSH 50th anniversary is not the only one being celebrated this year; 2021 also marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of the original version of the NIOSH Lifting Equation (NLE) in 1981 and the 30th anniversary of the first presentation of the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation (RNLE) in 1991. Publication of the RNLE Read More >

Posted on by Jack Lu, PhD, CPE; Ursula Brogan, BA, and Jennifer Tyrawski, PhDLeave a comment

The Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Disorder Consortium

  As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, we look back at many of our successful programs. The Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Disorder Consortium is a collaborative research program to prevent work-related upper limb musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The Consortium studies work-related MSDs to better understand and help prevent Read More >

Posted on by Alysha R. Meyers, PhD, CPELeave a comment

Computer Vision Development for Estimating Trunk Angles

  Work-related musculoskeletal disorders have been linked to many physical job risk factors, such as forceful movement, repetitive exertions, awkward posture and vibration. These job risk factors are typically evaluated using ergonomic risk assessment methods or tools. These methods are predominantly self-reporting and observational. Self-reporting methods can be questionnaires, checklists or interviews. Observational methods entail Read More >

Posted on by Menekse S. Barim, PhD, AEP; Robert G. Radwin, PhD; and Ming-Lun (Jack) Lu, PhD, CPE11 Comments

Working from Home: How to Optimize Your Work Environment and Stay Healthy

  Many workers continue to telework during the pandemic. While some may be fortunate to have a designated home office, others are competing for workspace with family members. A makeshift desk at the kitchen table or a temporary bedroom office are common. These new work arrangements combined with the additional stressors of working at home Read More >

Posted on by Brian D. Lowe, PhD, CPE; Jeannie A.S. Nigam, MS; Claire Caruso, PhD, RN, FAAN; Imelda Wong, PhD; and Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA13 Comments

Can Exoskeletons Reduce Musculoskeletal Disorders in Healthcare Workers?

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) remain a major concern for workers in the healthcare industry. Healthcare workers are at high risk of work-related MSDs mainly caused by overexertion from lifting and moving patients (i.e., patient handling). Wearable robots—exoskeletons or exosuits—may be a useful tool to help reduce risk of MSDs during patient handling. Background Based on the Read More >

Posted on by Liying Zheng, PhD3 Comments

Assessing Lifting Risk Factors Using Wearable Motion Sensors

A combination of work-related physical risk factors such as awkward postures or heavy lifting may lead to an increased risk of developing low back issues. Those in the occupational safety and health field continue to conduct research to prevent workplace musculoskeletal injuries. Researchers have used industry settings, self-reports and observational methods to evaluate these injuries. Read More >

Posted on by Menekse S. Barim, PhD, AEP, and Ming-Lun (Jack) Lu, PhD, CPE2 Comments

Effectiveness of New Guidelines to Prevent Workplace Hand-Wrist MSDs

Research confirms that new guidelines to prevent worker hand, wrist, and elbow musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) better protect workers. MSDs can be debilitating and costly workplace safety and health issues. In Washington state alone, direct costs for hand, wrist, and elbow MSD workers’ compensation claims accounted for over $2 billion and 11.8 million lost work days Read More >

Posted on by Alysha R. Meyers, PhD, CPE; Ann Marie Dale, PhD, OTR/L; Marcus Yung, PhD, CPE; and Bradley Evanoff, MD, MPH1 Comment

Low Back Pain among Workers: The Problem and What to Do About It

Are you a worker who is experiencing low back pain?  You aren’t alone! A recently published article from NIOSH reports that more than 1 in 4 (26%) working adults experience low back pain. Some groups of workers have more pain than others. For example, workers in construction occupations are more likely to experience low back Read More >

Posted on by Kristen Iker, MPH and CAPT Sara E. Luckhaupt, MD, MPH18 Comments

Vacuum Lifting System to Reduce Spinal Load During Airline Baggage Handling

Did you know NIOSH has tested a vacuum lifting assist system to reduce spinal strain during airline baggage handling? In collaboration with the Ohio State University, NIOSH published an article in Applied Ergonomics on the effectiveness of a vacuum lifting system in reducing spinal strain or loading during airline baggage handling. The study evaluated the Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA, and Jack Lu, PhD, CPE3 Comments

Musculoskeletal Health Research to Benefit Surface Stone, Sand, and Gravel Miners

In October 2017, the NIOSH Musculoskeletal Health Cross-Sector Program published the first blog post in a series to highlight musculoskeletal health research at NIOSH. This post—the fifth installment in the series—will discuss how best to promote musculoskeletal health and reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among surface stone, sand, and gravel mine workers. As Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA; Jonisha Pollard, MS, CPE; Valerie Coughanour, MA, MFA; and Jack Lu, PhD, CPE10 Comments

Musculoskeletal Health Research to Benefit Construction Workers

In October 2017 the NIOSH Musculoskeletal Health Cross-Sector program published the first blog in a series to highlight musculoskeletal health research at NIOSH. With spring just around the corner, this blog—the fourth installment in the series—will discuss how best to promote musculoskeletal health and reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among construction workers. Construction Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA and Jack Lu, PhD, CPELeave a comment

Frequent Exertion and Frequent Standing Among US Workers

  Have you ever wondered if your job involves more standing, bending, or lifting than other jobs? Or if there are ways you could avoid injuries from these movements while on the job? Last week, NIOSH published an article on frequent exertion and frequent standing among US workers by industry and occupation group. Using data from Read More >

Posted on by Taylor M. Shockey, MPH 3 Comments

Musculoskeletal Health Research to Benefit Couriers, Messengers, and Baggage Handlers

In October 2017 the NIOSH Musculoskeletal Health Cross-Sector program published the first blog in a series to highlight musculoskeletal health research at NIOSH. With the holiday season coming to an end, this blog—the third installment in the series—will discuss how best to promote musculoskeletal health to reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among baggage Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA and Jack Lu, PhD, CPE 1 Comment

Musculoskeletal Health Research to Benefit Temporary Retail Workers

In October 2017 we published the first blog in a series to highlight musculoskeletal health research at NIOSH. With the holiday season upon us, this next installment will take the opportunity to discuss how best to promote musculoskeletal health in retail establishments to reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders among temporary retail workers. Temporary or Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA and Jack Lu, PhD, CPE 1 Comment

Blog Series to Highlight Musculoskeletal Health Research at NIOSH

Before the end of World War II, there was little interest in fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population—a scientific practice known as ergonomics. By the 1970s, NIOSH researchers were pioneering the study of musculoskeletal health as professional ergonomists, examining physical and social components of work environments (such as Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA and Jack Lu, PhD, CPE 3 Comments